Emergency Response Plan
The University’s Incident Manual includes information about incident teams; University operating status parameters; incident priorities and performance expectations; shelter-in-place and evacuation guidelines; and local contingency and continuity planning requirements. University departments are responsible for developing contingency plans and continuity of operations plans for their staff and areas of responsibility. The University conducts numerous emergency response exercises each year, such as tabletop exercises, field exercises, and tests of the emergency notification system on campus. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution.
UL LAFAYETTE police officers and supervisors have received training in incident command and responding to critical incidents on campus. When a serious incident occurs that causes an immediate threat to the campus, the first responders to the scene are usually UL LAFAYETTE PD, Lafayette PD, Lafayette Fire and Lafayette HAZMAT, and they typically respond and work together to manage the incident. Depending on the nature of the incident, other UL Lafayette departments and other local, state, or federal agencies could also be involved in responding to the incident.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures (Drills)
An evacuation drill is coordinated by UL Lafayette Environmental Health and Safety each semester for all residential facilities on campus. Thus, the emergency response and evacuation procedures are tested at least twice each year and, for some of the buildings, multiple times a year. Students learn the locations of the emergency exits in the buildings and are provided guidance about the direction they should travel when exiting each facility for a short-term building evacuation. UL Lafayette Environmental Health and Safety does not tell residents in advance about the designated locations for long-term evacuations because those decisions are affected by time of day, location of the building being evacuated, the availability of the various designated emergency gathering locations on campus, and other factors such as the location and nature of the threat. In both cases, UL LAFAYETTE PD and Office of University Housing staff on the scene will communicate information to students regarding the developing situation or any evacuation status changes.
The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case of a fire or other emergency. At UL Lafayette, evacuation drills are used as a way to educate and train occupants on fire safety issues specific to their building. During the drill, occupants ‘practice’ drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the location of exits and the sound of the fire alarm. Palm cards with educational information are distributed to residents re-entering a facility immediately after an evacuation drill. In addition to educating the occupants of each building about the evacuation procedures during the drills, the process also provides the University an opportunity to test the operation of fire alarm system components.
Evacuation drills are monitored by UL LAFAYETTE PD, EH&S, and University Housing to evaluate egress and behavioral patterns. Reports are prepared by participating departments that identify deficient equipment so that repairs can be made immediately. Recommendations for improvements are also submitted to the appropriate departments/offices for consideration.
Students who live in University housing receive information about evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures during their first floor meetings and during other educational sessions that they can participate in throughout the year. The Housing staff members are trained in these procedures as well and act as an on-going resource for the students living in residential facilities.
General information about the emergency response and evacuation procedures for UL Lafayette is publicized each year as part of the institution’s Clery Act compliance efforts, and that information is available on the UL LAFAYETTE PD website http://police.louisiana.edu/jeanne-clery-act.